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East Meets West - Ravel, Shankar, Etc / Daniel Hope, Et Al


Release Date: 09/14/2004 
Label:  Warner Classics   Catalog #: 61329   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Maurice RavelManuel de FallaBéla BartókRavi Shankar,   ... 
Performer:  Daniel HopeSebastian KnauerGaurav MazumdarAsok Chakraborty,   ... 
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 13 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

R E V I E W S

Even Yehudi Menuhin, whose explorations opened new vistas of violinistic collaboration and set the instrument’s Western repertoire in a worldwide context, never undertook so compendious a project as has his former collaborator and disciple, Daniel Hope. Hope colors a program of Indian ragas, colorful exotica by Bartók, Falla, and Ravel, and an allusive student work by Alfred Schnittke, with the spiky timbres of Indian instruments and the luthéal, a piano with stops that produce the lute-like sonorities for which it’s named. But the project’s scope pales in comparison to Daniel Hope’s own range of virtuosity and stylistic absorption. Moses saw the promised land; Aaron led into it. Menuhin realized
Read more and revealed the violin’s diversity and breadth; Daniel Hope has comprehended it in a single, integrated personality.

Ravi Shankar worked out his two ragas for his collaboration with Menuhin in the 1960s, according to Hope’s notes (artists’ recent penchant for writing their own notes has reawakened interest in the booklets they grace); Hope and Gaurav Mazumdar recreated these by ear with the aid of Menuhin’s notes. Hope’s swells and slides here and rhythmic élan there communicate the music’s urgency and direction and should transmit some of its musical sense as well, even to listeners unfamiliar with its idiom, a sense that subsequent listening must more thoroughly explicate. But generally, Hope’s soaring style, with its sweeping dynamic contrasts combined with razor-sharp attacks informs the breathtaking sense of panache with which he dispatches such chestnuts as Ravel’s Tzigane, Falla’s Suite populaire espagnole, and Bartók’s Romanian Folk Dances. In these, he’s employed the luthéal either entirely (Tzigane) or in part (and with particularly striking effect, in Falla’s “Nana”and in Bartók’s “Sash Dance”), stiffening these with textural and timbral starch. Hope assigns Schnittke’s sonata to a period in which the composer’s study of Ravel, to whom the work owes so much of its manner if not its matter, had been forbidden in the Soviet Union. The faith of Schnittke’s widow, who entrusted the sonata to Hope, turns out to have been well placed, although like Bartók’s earlier, Brahmsian Sonata for Violin, this derivative work may never enter fully into the canon of the composer’s œvre, even despite Hope’s sympathetic insinuating championship.

The engineers have reproduced the violinist and his collaborators larger than life—in the same scale, that is, as that of the performances themselves. As a result of that scale, and of the project’s ambitious breadth, comparisons seem almost irrelevant, as would comparing performances by Sandor Lakatos as “King of Gypsy Fiddlers” with those of mainstream violinists in the same repertoire. But in this case, Hope grafts the exotic into what we’ve all come to think of as the main trunk; and in doing so, he’s achieved impressive results. In addition, he seems to have developed the kernel of a distinctive violinistic personality that unifies this extravagant diversity, and his playing reveals even more far-fetched associations, such as surprising relationships between, for example, Shankar’s flurries of détaches and those in Heirich Biber’s sonatas from so different a time and place. Urgently recommended, even to the unadventurous.

Robert Maxham, FANFARE
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Works on This Recording

1. Tzigane for Violin and Orchestra by Maurice Ravel
Performer:  Daniel Hope (Violin), Sebastian Knauer (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1924; France 
Date of Recording: 11/2003 
Venue:  Rolf Liebermann Studio, NDR, Hamburg 
Length: 10 Minutes 36 Secs. 
Notes: The recorded version is scored for violin and luthéal piano. 
2. Canciones populares españolas (7): Excerpt(s) by Manuel de Falla
Performer:  Daniel Hope (Violin), Sebastian Knauer (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1914-1915; Spain 
Date of Recording: 11/2003 
Venue:  Rolf Liebermann Studio, NDR, Hamburg 
Length: 13 Minutes 12 Secs. 
Notes: This selection is arranged for violin and luthéal piano.
Arranger: Paul Kochanski. 
3. Romanian Folkdances (6) for Piano, Sz 56 by Béla Bartók
Performer:  Sebastian Knauer (Piano), Daniel Hope (Violin)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1915; Budapest, Hungary 
Date of Recording: 11/2003 
Venue:  Rolf Liebermann Studio, NDR, Hamburg 
Length: 6 Minutes 43 Secs. 
Notes: This selection is arranged for violin and luthéal piano.
Arranger: Zoltán Székely. 
4. Raga piloo: Aochar by Ravi Shankar
Performer:  Gaurav Mazumdar (Sitar), Daniel Hope (Violin), Asok Chakraborty (Tabla),
Gilda Sebastian (Tanpura)
Date of Recording: 11/2003 
Venue:  Rolf Liebermann Studio, NDR, Hamburg 
Length: 5 Minutes 4 Secs. 
5. Raga piloo: Gat In Teentala by Ravi Shankar
Performer:  Gilda Sebastian (Tanpura), Daniel Hope (Violin), Asok Chakraborty (Tabla),
Gaurav Mazumdar (Sitar)
Period: 20th Century 
Date of Recording: 11/2003 
Venue:  Rolf Liebermann Studio, NDR, Hamburg 
Length: 11 Minutes 0 Secs. 
6. Sonata 1955 for Violin and Piano by Alfred Schnittke
Performer:  Sebastian Knauer (Piano), Daniel Hope (Violin)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: USSR 
Date of Recording: 11/2003 
Venue:  Rolf Liebermann Studio, NDR, Hamburg 
Length: 16 Minutes 23 Secs. 
Notes: Composition written: USSR (1954 - 1955). 
7. Swara-kakali by Ravi Shankar
Performer:  Daniel Hope (Violin), Gaurav Mazumdar (Sitar), Asok Chakraborty (Tabla),
Gilda Sebastian (Tanpura)
Period: 20th Century 
Date of Recording: 11/2003 
Venue:  Rolf Liebermann Studio, NDR, Hamburg 
Length: 9 Minutes 4 Secs. 

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